OBJECTIVE. We examined the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy to improve the performance of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) for community-dwelling older adults.

METHOD. We searched and examined the literature (2008 through 2016) using four electronic databases. Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were critically appraised and synthesized.

RESULTS. Analysis revealed four thematic areas: cognitive, self-management, prevention, and home-based multidisciplinary rehabilitation interventions. Strong evidence supports the use of tailored, multidisciplinary, home-based care programs to support older adults to maintain IADL improvements over time and the use of cognitive interventions to improve memory, executive function, functional status, and everyday problem solving. In addition, strong evidence indicates that tailored home-based preventive sessions were beneficial to mediate functional disability and satisfaction with performance.

CONCLUSION. Evidence supports tailored interventions designed to enhance IADL performance. More studies are needed that focus on IADLs specifically and that use IADLs in their interventions.

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